Tritio Adhyay movie review: Manoj Michigan's film suffers from convoluted script and inconsistent treatment
The first half of Tritio Adhyay is excruciatingly slow, whereas the second one, especially the third act, is so madly rushed that it will leave you in a daze.
Director Manoj Michigan’s new film Tritio Adhyay aims to tell a simple story. At least that is how the film begins: A simple love story, a blooming romance between a teenage couple, a man in search of his father, a mysterious woman. But soon enough, things get so complicated, that you cannot help but look back and wonder — was all this necessary at all? It is almost as if the script was reverse engineered, trying to force events and actions and dialogues to fit the mould of what was about to happen. This is never a good strategy. How I wish the makers would have told a simple love story, and told it well instead.
The film begins with a young man arriving at a small suburban town in southern Jharkhand, looking for his father. He stays in a somewhat derelict house, where he is attended to by a caretaker. In a separate track, we see a teenage college couple who are in love with each other. The boy is shy and nervous. The girl is relatively more confident and sure of herself. These two tracks intertwine with each other, and we keep moving back and forth between them. On one hand, we see the man becoming more and more frustrated in his search of his father. On the other, the young girl begins to realise that her boyfriend would not dare to stand his ground, in case his parents do not approve of their relationship. A number of events take place, and the two storylines soon begin to merge. It is difficult to say anything more about the plot than this, firstly because it would be unfair to do so, and secondly, because it is so convoluted that it just would not make any sense.
The film left me somewhat exhausted in the end, because of many reasons. One of the main ones among these being the story. There are so many unnecessary elements in the story, so much incredulity, that it becomes almost impossible to stay with the characters. Their motivations, their desires are absolutely unclear, and no explanation is offered as to why everyone is doing what they are doing. Was the script written in chunks and then sewn together to form a whole? At least that is the impression that I got while watching the film. Every action has been shown to have a direct outcome on the flow of the story, but no explanation has been offered to detail why that action was taken. For instance — and there may be a bit of a spoiler here, so you may want to skip to the next paragraph — why did the young boy run away from his responsibilities? And how did he then suddenly grow a conscience? One that made him so bitter that he ended up taking a life?
The first half is excruciatingly slow, whereas the second one, especially the third act, is so madly rushed with so many things happening, that it will leave you in a daze. I was wondering why so many things are happening at the same time, and in such a self-serving and haphazard manner? And before I could get my answers, the film was over and the credits began to roll.
There is nothing much to write about the performances either, I am afraid. Abir Chatterjee does manage to give glimpses of his acting prowess in one or two isolated scenes, but that is about all he does. Never before have I seen a fine actress like Paoli Dam being so grossly underutilised. She has been given literally nothing to work with, and she seemed extremely uncomfortable and out of place in the whole scheme of things. Among the younger actors, Arunima Halder still manages to hold her fort with a calm and composed approach to one of the better written roles in the film. Whereas Sourav Das comes across as a thoroughly confused and absolute dud — aptly described in the film as someone who ‘should have been born 50 years ago’. But he is here today — in the time that is now, and that makes his character extremely one-dimensional and very difficult to believe.
The only saving grace of the film is its beautifully crafted music by composer and lyricist Orin, and a few moments of inspired countryside cinematography. Other than these, I am afraid the film failed to engage me at all. Alfred Hitchcock was so unhappy with the way he had made his film The Man Who Knew Too Much that he actually ended up making it again. Would director Manoj Michigan, given a chance, want to make Tritio Adhyay again? In a more believable, more straightforward, more interesting way? Who knows? What I do know is that the current version does not work, certainly not for me.
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